Shortly before Thanksgiving past, I came face to face with the selection of a new cell phone. I was the last hold-out with my kith and kin for same-company benefits of cellular transmission. My heirs were calling each other without minute consumption. And texting was at the speed of ticket sales to a Lady Gaga concert. But, with the reassurance–or was it incessant goading?–from the Other Gens in our familial tree, I entered the treacherous confines of a Baby Boomer’s Hell, a store we’ll call Cell Phone City.
While the 20-somethings at my arm were the kids in the candy store, the beads on my forehead resembled those of me stepping in for a root canal. I was standing on the high board above the pool of Blatant Ignorance, ready for full-body immersion into embarrassment.
But, rationalization to the rescue! Hey, I’m a guy with two Master’s Degrees and teaching experience in six different decades! Am I smarter than a fifth grader or what? I can DO this! Well, I could do this as long as the enforcement team that pushed me through the doors was available …
Thirty minutes and a blazing of the credit card later, I exited the store feeling a tad more techno-savvy. I had the sworn-in-blood promise of my reassuring relatives that it was all just one baby step after another into Blackberry Heaven.
So, this guy who played with two tin cans and a string as my own homemade walkie-talkie in another mid-century era really can navigate the treachery of technology. And the availability of people like my company’s Ben Dinger and Connie Hain don’t hurt my cause.
As for the “smarter than a fifth grader” issue, I’m happy that young learners take on new phases of technology like ducks to water. I’m still occasionally on that high board above the pool of uncertainty. But, I’m getting better with the help of my friends.